Another dot in the blogosphere?

Learning twice (at least)

Posted on: May 24, 2018

I sum up the already short tweet above with this: To teach is to learn twice.

To teach is the learn twice.

With enough reflective experience and well-grounded theory, it is easy to understand why teachers might become content experts. They are constantly performing retrieval practice and so they get better at learning the content.

Educators who have caught on to this by being well-read apply this in their classrooms and courses — they get learners to teach one another. This can happen in pairs or in small groups, take the form of short instructional videos, or any method that requires students to first internalise (consume) content and then externalise (express) it.

As learners do this, they will experience what all teachers do. They will struggle with explaining or communicating aspects of content. They then revisit or relook sources of information or clarify with their peers. This is a natural and authentic way of learning.

Students are not teachers. They do not have the experience or the education that teachers might have received about pedagogy. However, this should not stop them from doing what works, i.e., retrieval practice.

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